MINE digital magazine: issue 61

In this issue: State-financed mines, Trump’s “amazing results” for miners, land rights in New Zealand, Industry 4.0, long-distance remote mining, Portland stone goes underground, and more


Australia and Canada are planning to finance new mines in a bid to bolster their industries. The Canadian Government will restart Champion Iron’s Québec Iron Ore mine, while Australia’s decision to fund lithium mining has been seen as a way to compete with China. Do actions such as these indicate that countries are viewing the sourcing of rare earths and critical elements as strategic minerals, worthy of tax payer funds? We examine the evidence.

Elsewhere, we consider the ethics of mining in New Zealand following recent gold discoveries on tribal land, learn why the renowned Portland stone producers are turning from quarrying to mining, and investigate the truth in President Trump’s claims of “amazing results” in the US mining industry.

In technology, we discuss the future of internet-enabled technologies, the impact of Industry 4.0, and catch up with the minerless mine Kankberg in Sweden, and its employment of remote-controlled 5G technology.

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In this issue

Analysing Trump’s “Amazing Results”
President Trump has highlighted “big stories” in the mining sector, including the creation of jobs and the opening of mines, which, he argues, demonstrates his success at quickly improving conditions for mining communities. But do market conditions in US mining bear out these claims? We cut through the spin to assess the real impact.
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Reaching an Ethical Balance in New Zealand
New Zealand supports an extensive mining industry on which many communities depend, controversy, however, is never far off and recent gold discoveries on tribal land have thrust the ethics of the industry into the spotlight. We take a look at the state of mining in New Zealand.
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Portland Stone Goes Underground 
Portland stone firms in Dorset, UK, are switching from open-cast quarrying to underground mining of the iconic stone. So, why have these companies turned to mining and what has it taken to convert to underground operations? We speak to the companies to find out.
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Is State-Funded Mining Making a Comeback?
Both the Australian and Canadian Governments have announced plans to finance new mines to help bolster the industry. In Australia, the decision is to fund lithium to compete with China, while Canada, is restarting Champion Iron’s Québec Iron Ore mine. Do these examples demonstrate that countries are viewing rare earths and critical elements as strategic minerals, worthy of taxpayer funds? We examine the evidence.
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Connectivity and the Internet of Things
Inmarsat has published a global research study on the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) in mining. The study argues that connected technologies will help the industry overcome commodity downswing challenges and dilemmas around rising costs and declining ore grades. We get some insight from Inmarsat.
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The Minerless Mines
In Sweden, Ericsson has been using remote-controlled 5G technology in a gold mine at Kankberg to run the mine without humans on the ground. The two-year pilot, which was due to come to an end this month, has been extended with the support of the Swedish Government. Does the success of this project mark the beginning of the end of mining as we know it? We find out.
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Industry 4.0: New Tech & Old Friends
Industrial technologies are making huge strides in sophistication, application and connectivity, so how can the mining industry fully utilise the power of Industry 4.0? Stuart Watt, general manager of bulk at Eka Software Solutions, discusses.
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Next issue

Corporate social responsibility company SEF Canada has launched a project called Clean Gold Community Solutions, aiming to improve the businesses of global artisanal gold miners. Central to the project is a processing method which replaces mercury with cyanide. But with such huge environmental risks, is this wise for small-scale mining operations?

Around the regions, we report on the strike at Indonesia’s Grasberg mine, speak to Cornish Lithium about its prospects, and hear the story of an artisanal miner.

Also, with a strong focus on commodities, we speak to analysts about what China’s environmental tax will mean for global mineral trade, profile the challenges of mining titanium in Greenland, and ask if demand for green batteries is pushing primary cobalt mining into the economically competitive sphere.

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